Sony has announced that they will be removing a PlayStation 5 multiplayer feature later this year. Introduced as part of the PS5 system software in 2020, the Accolades system will be removed in fall 2022, pretty much because nobody is using them.
The statement from Sony reads:
In fall of 2022, the Accolades feature on PlayStation 5 will no longer be supported. The feature hasn’t seen the level of usage we anticipated, so we are refocusing our efforts. We encourage the community to continue to send positive messages to one another.
Accolades were a good idea from Sony, intended as a PlayStation-wide way to engender more positivity through online multiplayer and foster a more genuine sense of community. Once per online match, in supporting games, you could award one stranger one of three Accolades: Helpful, Welcoming, Good Sport.
One potential point of inspiration could have come from games like Overwatch, where the end of each match lets you vote to pick the best player in the game, looking beyond the raw stats. At the end of the day, though, they’re simply little digital badges.
The problem, perhaps, was that this was an additional side feature exclusively on PlayStation. It needed investment of time and effort to bring into games by developers, and I can’t really think of games where Accolades have taken pride of place. Sony needed a hit first party exclusive to really put it in the limelight, but the company is still only just starting to rebuild their multiplayer game portfolio and hasn’t been able to push it themselves – I can’t think how or where it’s featured in Gran Turismo 7, for example.
Sony hasn’t been afraid to cull features that haven’t been used enough, killing off PS Communities on PS4 last year, and there are still quite a few areas of the PlayStation 5 system that could use improvement. Over the past 18 months, Sony has continually iterated on the Game Base chat and social aspects of the system, they’ve shifted directions with how voice chat parties work, and are currently testing 1440p support and folder-like Gamelists. There’s also the PlayStation Stars loyalty scheme, which will reward players for taking part in tournaments, earning particular trophies, and simply checking in to play games each month.